Decision making is part of everyday life. Most people make a series of daily decisions without giving the process much thought. However, there are key elements that go into making sound judgments. Here are three key ingredients to the process that you may find in a decision making course.
Define the Problem
Before making any decision, start by clearly defining the problem. The definition stage is the foundation of good decision making and influences all actions taken. Without a clearly defined problem, you are likely to come to conclusions that may not completely address the situation at hand.
Once a problem has been defined, the information gathering stage begins. Research or simple brainstorming may apply depending on the problem at hand. The point of this step is to identify alternative solutions to the problem.
Gather data, ask trusted sources for input and reflect on potentially similar situations from the past. After the information has been collected, it’s time to formulate multiple alternative courses of action. It is from these alternatives that a choice will be made.
During the action phase, you examine the alternatives that were discovered in the information gathering phase. After consideration, you make a choice. The chosen alternative is the decision to make.
This isn’t the time to second guess yourself. In most circumstances, there is more than one decision that can be made. Each scenario would bring about a different result. Your job is to make your choice, make the decision and then act on it.
The action phase of decision making is crucial. Without action, going through this process will just give you another idea swirling around in your head. It is in the action that your decision has been made.
While making sound judgments can be a little intimidating at first, it is a skill that can be learned and honed.